Safe Harbor Will Encourage Resolution of Claims Before Lawsuits are Filed
West Virginia has enacted a new law that regulates the payment of liquidated damages and attorney’s fees for lawsuits related to unpaid or underpaid wage claims. Beginning June 4, 2020, the new law will allow individuals to seek liquidated damages and attorney’s fees only after they submit a written demand (including email) for unpaid wages to their former employer.
However, this safe harbor for employers is conditional on new notification requirements. The new law requires employers to provide individuals with a notice that contains the contact information for an authorized representative. The employer must submit this information in writing upon separation of employment or with the final paycheck.
Finally, the new law also requires employers to settle unpaid wage demands within seven calendar days of when they receive the demand. Employees can seek liquidated damages and attorney’s fees if their wage demands are not settled within seven days or if the employer failed to provide the notice as required.© 2020 HR 360, Inc.
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